November is a season for Remembering: All Souls Day followed immediately by All Saints Day and then the national commemoration of Remembrance Day. We have also entered, what in some parts of the Anglican Church is called the ‘Season of the Kingdom’, because our scripture readings in church recall some of Jesus great parables.
But, and it is a very big but, how are we being the saints of Jesus on Earth today?
A lot of our remembering is about great people and exemplary lives, loved ones who have died and been deeply important to us, and those killed in the combat of national enemies.
In these days of world communication we are aware of the losses to all sides, and the losses to all nations, to say nothing of the international tragedies of those losing their lives looking for a new life in a new country because their own seem too awful to remain in.
And still as I look and reflect upon all of this in 2019 I am searching for the hand of God – many of us are searching for the hand of God in 2019 and it is often in the challenging words and images of our media giants that we hear and see a prophetic challenge.
As John Henry Newman was made a Saint by our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters a few weeks ago I find myself looking for prophetic voices in this generation – not looking back and generating sorrow for things our forebear did and lived through.
Perhaps in this year it is people like David Attenborough, and his colleagues, who will be recognised as saints in the decades to come. As our supermarket shelves tempt us into yet more plastic packaging and frivolous purchases this autumn – perhaps it is in the simple things we can all do that we shall encounter something of Jesus saving message to us as we recall that we are brothers and sisters with people across the globe.
It does matter if we fill the seas with plastic from the packaging we buy our food in; it does matter if we fill our air with carbon dioxide from the vehicles we choose to drive. Maybe you, like me, could find something to give up for the planets’ sake this Season of the Kingdom so that something of God’s reign of justice and peace for all the world may come through each of us. In our little changes of behaviour as we remember, not just those who have gone before us, but the generation who are children and will have to live in the world when we have died and been laid to rest.
Give up as much plastic as you can, give up as much petrol as you can, give up as much waste as you can that we may have life and share it with others.
In a season of remembering – remember what you do matters, your behaviour matters.
Rev. Reuben J. Preston